Intolerance won't affect investment, cos look at demand: new CII chief

Amid a debate over intolerance, new CII President Naushad Forbes said such issues will not affect investments in the country although "certain things get amplified more" in a "very noisy democracy" like India.

Forbes, who took charge last week, also said it was too early to say if such issues were diluting the focus away from economic growth and development.

Naushad Forbes. Screengrab from YouTube

Naushad Forbes. Screengrab from YouTube

"I wish the world was such a good place that places that are intolerant, get less investment. It is not the way it is," Forbes told PTI when asked if the issue over intolerance have hurt investments in India.

"MNCs will make all these noises but they will go where the demand is. They will go where the economic growth is," he said, adding the example of China, where foreign firms queued up to go there in the 80s and 90s and invest despite not being "a tolerant place that allowed for freedom of speech".

Asserting that "India is not an intolerant nation", he said: "We are a very noisy democracy. You hear everything at the same time. Certain things get amplified more..."

Asked if he feels the narrative in India in recent times has shifted from growth to issues like intolerance, the CII President said: "I think it is too early to say that the growth narrative and the growth focus is being diluted and diverted.

"It will be a terrible tragedy for the country if that happened without question. But I think it is too soon to say that, that is actually happening."

When asked if incidents like the Jat agitation in Haryana have a negative impact on investments, the CII President said: "What does have an effect on investment is uncertainty and insecurity.

"So if there is ever a perception that things are uncertain or you can't predict what's going to happen or insecurity that you are going to be unsafe, that will affect investments".

He further said: "We have to ensure that the basics of security, predictability, no uncertainly in terms of what you can expect in a particular area, if we take care of that I think investments won't be affected.

Updated Date: Apr 11, 2016 09:06 AM